Friday, July 18, 2014

I Left My Paw Prints in San Francisco

As you may recall, last week was very hot here in the Central Valley. So I planned a little trip for Leif, my wife and I to the Bay area for some cool time and also to visit the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus for their Funday Celebrations on July 19, 2014.

Guide Dog Leif, sits beside Williamn on Pier 14, San Francisco California, the Bay Bridge can be seen in the background.
Leif and William stand on Pier 14 in San Francisco, with the Bay Bridge behind them.

On Saturday we went to San Rafael, to enjoy a full day at the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus. We met many puppy raisers, including some people who knew Leif as a puppy in training.

We also had a great time watching the latest graduates receiving their dogs. Personally, I would have found graduating with several hundred people in the audience but this group of graduates did very well.

Also there was a special presentation of puppies for a group of Future Farmers of America, FFA students from the High School in Lemoore, CA , who were receiving puppies for training on behalf of students in New Mexico who will raise the puppies in the Fall.

On Sunday we took a ferry trip from near San Rafael to San Francisco. The trip took about forty minutes  each way. We got to walk along the Embarkcadero and out onto Pier 14, now a breakwater for the Ferry Terminal. We had lunch at a sandwich bar and Leif also received a well  deserved drink of water from one of the waitresses, for which she received a great big Labrador kiss.

Altogether we had a great week-end break. Sadly we had to return home, just in time for the final spike in high temperatures on Monday night.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Like Leif on Facebook- An AppealHello Everyone,

Hello Everyone,

I am asking you to Like me on Facebook. My page is Guide Dog Leif.

Guide Dog Leif, a black Labrador, sits in harness looking appealingly into the camera wearing a white bow tie around his neck.
Guide Dog Leif, wearing a White Bow tie.
My Facebook page is full of lots of fun and chat with people who live with, work with and raise guide dogs like me.

The conversations are generally fun and informative. Come along and like my page at Guide Dog Leif's Facebook Page  even if you are only a dog lover. Dog lovers are my people too.

Enough of the Hot Already

Leif , my guide dog and I are suffering.

Leif is hot and bored and I am just too hot.

This past couple of weeks has seen temperatures here in the 100' Fahrenheit. That is too hot for Guide Dogs to work even in their boots. So poor Leif is bored.

Guide dog Leif sits patiently on a porch as the late afternoon sun marks checker board patterns over the dog and floor on a hot day.
Leif sits on the porch as the temperature passes 100 F.

It is the normal temperature for this time of year here, but I never had it have so much impact on my life before.

In the past I would take out my cane and go. You cannot do that with a dog. You cannot think of going outside between 11am and about 7pm on such hot days. Stay inside and chill with a poor air conditioner that is flogging itself to death to keep a room in the house below 90 F.

I have a little plan that might cheer Leif and me up though. But more of that in a post later.

Till then we will bear the heat and press on. Doggedly.  (I can't believe I just said that LOL).

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th July

This will be Leif' and my first 4th July together.

We will try to keep quiet today, guide dogs are special but they are not immune to fear. So tonights fireworks are something to be avoided. Besides I am not a fan of fireworks myself.

Back in England, the big night for fireworks is 5th November.

Towards the end of the 1990's I worked at a local sports stadium. One 5th November I was helping with crowd control at the town firework display. It was a very windy night and I remember watching one rocket soar into the sky, bursting into dozens of stars.

To me the rocket seemed to burst a little early, and as I watched one of the stars seemed to get closer and closer. I pushed the portion of the crowd beside me back a little and the star came closer.

It landed with a hiss still burning on the toe of my right boot.

If we had not moved back it may have hit someone in the crowd, or  at least hit me in the chest.

Since then I have not really liked to attend any firework displays.

So for those of you celebrating the 4th July have a safe day. Keep pets indoors and safe.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Breakthrough With Smart Glasses to Aid the Blind

The British newspaper the  "Daily Telegraph" has reported a new breakthrough with smart glasses technology which may eventually aid the blind to see.

Today's article Smart Glasses Allow Blind to See Guide Dogs for First Time discusses use of new technology developed by scientists at the Nuffield Institute, part of Oxford University in England.

The glasses cannot help those with no residual vision, they appear to be vision enhancers. The glasses create black and white images which some blind people can see, then outlines the items directly in the persons vicinity enabling them to avoid dangerous items and allow some facial features to be recognized.

I am drawn to the idea of at some future time being able to put on some high tech pair of glasses that would enhance my vision, it is possibly the guy thing. A gadget. A hope of independence.

But then I start to think with my heart. What would life be like without Leif, my guide dog?  Would I be happier with a new pair of glasses instead of that cute black rascal who shares my life, 24 hours a day.

My heart says, Leif is  much more to me than a pair of glasses could ever be.

We'll have to see where the glasses thing goes. If it will move forward and change from a large box on ones head to something chique and fashionable. Time will tell, the glasses will get smaller and the technology will be hidden.

Maybe in time I could even enjoy the old tech alongside the new tech. Who Knows?

Do you have any comments on this article? Leave your comments in our comments section below.